Braces don’t need to cramp your eating style. In fact, once you’re used to wearing them, you can eat most of the foods you enjoyed before. When you first get your braces on, and after adjustments, your jaw and teeth might be achy and sore. It’s best to sip on cold drinks and stick with things like soup, applesauce and smoothies until the discomfort subsides. When you’re back in action, try to prepare foods in a way that makes them simple to chew. This includes cutting up hard foods and chewy meats into little pieces and stripping things like chicken wings and corn on the cob.
To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of some braces-friendly foods:
- Soft cheeses (brie, cottage cheese, thinly sliced cheddar, etc.)
- Soft-cooked meat
- Chicken salad
- Tuna salad
- Egg salad
- Thinly sliced lunch meats
- Soft bread without seeds (tear off crust if needed)
- Muffins with no nuts or chunks
- Soft cakes
- Soft cookies
- Tortillas (heated until soft)
- Soft-cooked rice
- Non-crunchy fish sticks (cut in bite-sized pieces)
- Crab cakes
- Soft-cooked fish
- Soft-cooked veggies like carrots, peas and zucchini
- Mashed potatoes
- Fruit juice (look for 100% fruit, low sugar versions)
- Bananas (mash them if necessary)
- Baked fruits (apples, peaches)
- Additional soft ripe fruits
- Ice cream without nuts or chunks, sorbet, gelato, frozen yogurt, granita
- Cold drinks
- Protein shakes
- Cream pies
- Steamed greens like kale, spinach, or chard (cut up)
Perfecting your chewing technique can ward off broken brackets. Avoid biting food or tearing pieces of it off with your front teeth and chew with your back teeth instead.
What Not to Eat With Braces
Your orthodontist will probably advise you to cut back on starchy or sugar-packed foods, like white bread, cookies and cake because they tend to get stuck in the braces and can lead to cavities. However, you can eat them in moderation. Unfortunately, there are a few foods you’ll want to avoid altogether. Stay away from sticky treats like caramel and chewing gum. Also, forgo the popcorn as the hulls can worm their way into the brackets causing swelling and infection in the gums. A lot of dentists also warn against chewy bread products, like fresh bagels, because they can wreak havoc on your braces and cause damage. Lastly, eliminate or at least limit your intake of soda and sugary beverages, which lead to tooth decay.
If you have questions about certain foods or drinks, never hesitate to give us a call! We’re here to make your braces experience run as smoothly as possible.